The Boardman to Hemingway project power line, proposed by Idaho Power, is nothing but a strong arming of the 700 private landowners as the power line would cut through farms, ranches, forest lands, Ladd Wildlife Marsh, Morgan Lake and in front of the Oregon Trail Center.
It should be noted this project will be 100% on private property in Umatilla County. Idaho Power also wants to build new roads and remove anything in its path while destroying the land, wildlife habitat and water resources on the same private properties. Many of these roads they desire to build or rebuild are outside the desired route of the power line its self.
Idaho Power claims to be wanting to work with the 700 private land owners, all the while threatening the same landowners if Idaho Power is not allowed to enter the private property, prior to being issued the certificate to build by the state of Oregon, by taking the owners to court.
A couple of facts need to be pointed out.
First, Idaho Power does not have the authority needed to build the power line at this time, and it can still be denied the right to build. There is currently a couple of contested cases in the courts, and Oregon will not issue the required certificates until they have been settled, which means most likely those cases will go to the Supreme Court. Again with no certificate, Idaho Power has no authority to build the line.
Second, the fact is that Idaho Power is demanding access to the 700 private properties to do surveying and studies that they had already done in 2011.
The governments in Umatilla and Morrow counties don’t seem to care about their residents but more about promised tax dollars from this badly planned project. This for-profit private corporation has some county, city and state agencies on its side as it means dollars to them and the landowners be damned. Union and Baker counties are both opposed to the line being built.
I have asked before, why zigzag across private lands as opposed to a straight line between Boardman and Idaho? The main reason, although denied by B2H, is to avoid all forms of government land and the stricter requirements it would have to meet. It is estimated that if the line was built in a straight line from Boardman to Hemmingway, Idaho, it would cut the 293 mile proposed route by approximately 50 miles, but to avoid public and tribal lands, a zigzag route across private property was selected by Idaho Power.
I understand that if it doesn’t cross people's land, they say what do we care? Why they should care is if at anytime this project goes broke, or drops the ball on any of their pie in the sky promises, you, the taxpayers, will be on the hook to cover the costs.
Again I ask people to contact your county, city and state officials and stop this theft of private property and the rights of the owners.